Traveling Responsibly: Cape Town Water Crisis – IGO Travel

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Traveling Responsibly: Cape Town Water Crisis

Wade Lambert | 14 December 2017

The festive season is upon us. Yes, it is that time again! Can you believe it? It’s a time filled with fun and adventure. Think sundowners, ice cream by the beach, the smell of coconut-infused suntan lotion, a dip in the ocean and the warm and dramatic sunsets we get to experience every evening during the summer season. 

It’s a time to unwind and explore. A time to leave your worries at home and relax. But for some, and especially those in the Cape it might not be the same feeling. We decided to do a post to educate our fellow travelers on how to travel responsibly if they are making their way to the region over the festive period.  

Cape Town is a wonderful place but the region is experiencing a severe water crisis. Water is a precious resource and we all have to learn how to use it carefully (whether there is a drought or not). 

Here are some water saving tips:

  • Cut your water use to less than 87 liters per person, per day.
  • Use municipal drinking water only for essential washing, cooking and drinking purposes, and only use indoors.
  • Check and fix all leaks on your property.
  • Only flush the toilet when necessary, or even better, use grey water to flush. Don’t use it as a dustbin. Did you know that one flush can use up to 9 liters (and older types even more) of water?
  • Cut your shower time to 2 minutes. A standard (non-water-saving) showerhead can use up to 16 liters of water per minute. Sanlam has teamed up with your local artists to cut down their songs to 2 minutes. So now you can shower with your favourite tunes playing and save water. (
  • Collect your shower, bath and basin water and re-use it to flush your toilet, water the garden and wash your car.
  • Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers. The rinse water from some washing machines can be re-used for the next wash cycle. Washing machines use anything from 50 liters of water to 200 liters per load. 
  • Use a cup instead of running taps in the bathroom or kitchen when brushing teeth, shaving, drinking, etc. By letting the tap run while you do any of these can waste up to 5 liters of water. 
  • Defrost foods in the fridge or naturally, rather than placing it under running water.
  • Refrain from taking a bath. Even though it is one of the best ways to relax a bath can use up to 120 liters of water. That’s a lot of water, and way over the 87-liter limit per person per day. 
  • Invest in water-efficient goods.
  • If you love gardening include some water-wise plants.
  • Invest in a rainwater harvesting tank (for when it does rain).
  • If you are visiting the Cape for a short period of time, try to bring your own towels to help save on washing loads.

If you are looking for more information, follow the Water Shedding Western Cape group on Facebook or visit to view the latest updates and for stats. 

Happy water-saving!


*Level 6 CoCT water restrictions are effective from 1 January 2018. 

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